23 The woman knelt down, putting her hand on each child's cheek, tears ran down her face. Without further words Jesus returned to His Mother and entered his own house. Joseph asked what was happening and Mary told him. Joseph only smiled and nodded. "I've missed my little helper today!" he commented. "There is still much to do before supper, if He is not too tired."
24 "Oh, I am not tired at all, father!" The Boy cried, and followed after him into his shop.
25 When they were gone Mary knelt down and gave thanks for their special blessings.
Now, as Jesus grew, His mother noticed that He spent much time in the neighbor's garden. The neighbors had a great black stone which was said to have come out of Egypt in the time of Moses. It was as tall as a man, twice as broad, oval on top, bottom, and straight on the sides. It was stood in a base of white marble that held it up.
2 For hours Jesus would sit staring into this stone into its brightly polished black surface.
3 Now, his mother grew curious, and came out one day and sat beside Him. "What is it, my beloved Child," she asked, "that you see in the stone?"
4 Without hesitation Jesus answered, "I listen to The Teachers, mother, of the north, the south, the east and the west. In the stone time and distance does not exist.
5 When I wish to know what any of Them is teaching I need merely to look into the stone, think of which one I want to hear, and I can see and hear Them, as if I was one of Their students close at hand."
6 "I wish I could see!" Mary commented.
7 Jesus smiled, took her hand. Suddenly her eyes were opened. All that He could see she could see, also. She sat for some time before her wifely dutiess forced her to return to the house. But each day thereafter she found herself drawn to the stone to listen to The Teachers with her Son, whenever she could find a little time.
8 Then one day, as they sat, Mary put her thoughts into words. "These Teachers are interesting, my Son, but they are not of Israel. Is it right to listen to Those that are not of God?"
9 Jesus laughed. "My dear and precious mother," He answered, "all that are of love are of God. It does not matter what They call Themselves, how They dress, or, how They speak. If They seek joy and happiness for Their brothers and sisters, if They teach them to do well, to seek entry into Heaven, then They are as much of God as Moses and Abraham.
10 Men call God by many names, but the greatest name for God is love. For if a man does love he does the will of God.
11 Our Fathers, in their jealousies, try to keep God, try to keep love for Themselves, but unless God is shared with ALL men, then they will not truly reach that Place where they wish to be.
12 Many will say they love God, but will do evil and wonder why they are not given peace. For our people our way is good. It leads the most of them to The Light. But for others there are other Ways just as good."
13 "Then what of God's promise," Mary inquired, "that the glory of Israel shall be spread about the world?"
14 Jesus smiled, pointing to the stone. "Some day, mother, the glory of Israel SHALL be throughout the world. That is not to say that there will not be OTHER glories in the world, but there will not be one place in the world where The Children Of Israel are not welcome, where the prayers to the Most High are not heard. But here, on this sacred ground, is where the Glory Of Israel shall be its strongest, where the temples of our God shall stand as long as this world exists.
15 This is the foundation stone of Israel's Glory. This is the cradle of God's love, this blessed sacred ground. Though The Darkness shall try to devour The Light, though nations shall rise and fall, no matter how man tries to destroy it there shall always be a nation of God. There shall always be an Israel."
16 When Mary heard these things she trembled, for she knew that it was not her Son that spoke, but it was the Voice Of God which she heard, renewing the Promise to her people.
17 That evening she spoke to her husband about what her Son had said. Her husband, in his usual way, only smiled.
18 Now it came to pass, when Jesus was twelve, the family went as usual, to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. When they went to journey home Mary and Joseph did not know that Jesus was not with them. They traveled a whole day homeward before finding out that He was not in the company!
19 They hurried back to the city seeking Him, finding Him in the temple in the midst of the teachers both listening to them, and, answering their questions. All about Him were in disbelief at his understanding and knowledge. When His mother saw Him, she rebuked Him, saying, "Why have you stayed behind and not let us know? Your father and I looked for you sorrowing."
20 Jesus answered her, saying, "How is it you looked for me? Did you not know I would be about my Father's business and would have returned to you when I was done?"
21 Mary bowed her head at this rebuke but Jesus took her hand and they returned to Nazareth.
22 "How hard it is for us to remember," Joseph remarked as they journeyed homeward, "that He is so much more than our Son."
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